This is going to be a frank taste test based on my opinion only. First, let it be known that these black teas, usually in the form of tea bags rather than loose tea as I prefer, both represent good values. What then would be ordinary tea or tasteless tea? Perhaps we'll get into that on another post.
The test consisted of 2 tea bags of each brewed in a Teavana plastic teapot capable of containing 2 mugs of tea. I simply opened the bags and poured the tea into the teapot. This teapot allows you to instantly see the end of the steep as all the leaves have gone to the bottom.
Newman's Own Organic
I got a large box of bags. You open the box and there are 3 lines of bags in paper wrappers. I figured it would probably be better tea than most, and I have tried some really good teas. Opening the box was promising as the tea had a nice fresh aroma. I presume this is black tea from Assam and Ceylon. I always take mine with milk and nothing else.
This tea had a medium body, some tea is actually thick, other tea is very thin. This affects the texture of the tea as you drink it. There is also of course the aftertaste. This is what is left after you have actually swallowed the tea and this is also one of the qualities where we can acquire persistent memories of various kinds of tea as one can with various kinds of coffee, wine or beer.
For my purposes, I like a smooth malty aftertaste in my morning black tea. Then in the afternoon, I keep the tea in the pot from the morning and add another bag to the pot for my afternoon tea. Much of the character of the morning pot is retained. This practice is a really cheap way to deal with your daily cup.
I was pleased with the tea, it matches my expectations. It was smoother than some other brands. Newman's Own tea might even serve as a good mean example of what's available in America right now.
I look for Lipton loose tea wherever I shop. Usually all that's available are bags. I'll tell anyone in case they don't know; something must have happened to Lipton a while back. We used always to see Lipton served in restaurants for those who preferred tea. But compared with what they sell now, that tea I remember was somehow more bitter and perhaps had additives. Anyway things have changed. Lipton deserves the place as the measure for all black teas because their latest products are better in every way than their predecessors and represent a terrific value.
Finding no loose tea, I bought a little box of bags. It was not quite as fresh as the loose tea is, but they had done a great job of packaging the bags inside the box rather than bothering with individual paper wrappers.
Anyway, what can I say but yes! Lipton beat Newman's Own in the maltiness department, a far fresher taste, a stronger kick too. After all, some of us decided to go from coffee to tea some years ago and loved the variety and never looked back. I avoided Lipton for years, and tried just about everything else too. Then one day I saw they had loose tea and I tried it. There is better and I will get into that anon, but for everyday use, this tea is very hard to beat, though occasionally I do buy all kinds of other brands just to vary it a little.
Stay calm, brew more tea. Enjoy!